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David Linhardt 10/30/04

 More dioxin info sought

To the editor Midland Daily News:

The MDN carried an article (10/17/2004) on dioxin body burden levels being found in persons that reside along the Tittabawassee River. The article indicated the range of dioxin levels reported was 17.9 to 37 ppt-TEQ.

The article contained a quote from Dr. Robert Budzinsky, a Dow toxicologist with expertise in dioxin exposure: "There is no scientific evidence that background levels like this pose any increased risk." As someone who was exposed to dioxins while working in the Midland plant and while living in Midland, Dr. Budzinsky’s assurance is very comforting.

I would like to ask Dr. Budzinsky to provide some information on the basis for his assurances. I have examined the large number of mortality and health studies that Dow has posted on its Dioxin Data website and I have found no information that correlates dioxin body burden levels with human health effects. To the best of my knowledge, Dow has never determined dioxin body burden levels in the 2,200 Midland plant employees who were potentially exposed to industrial dioxins.

I am aware of the industrial studies that correlate TCDD body burden levels with increased "all cancer" mortality but I am not aware of any similar health or mortality studies based on residential exposure. To the best of my knowledge, Dow has never determined dioxin body burden levels in any Midland community residents, especially those living within two miles of the company’s waste incinerators. However, I do not have easy access to any epidemiology journal and it would have been very easy to miss a Dow submittal.

I would like to thank Dr. Budzinsky in advance for providing the additional information needed to verify his assurances.

David Linhardt

Cary, N.C.

(formerly Midland)<

İMidland Daily News 2004

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